Friday, October 28, 2016

Manipulating the Situation

So when I got home, I tried to stay quiet about the five little kitties. They were in isolation until they recovered and were safe. They were adorable. I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that four of them still needed homes. The white one, the pretty girl, was claimed. The rest were boys.

I like boys.

When I got home, Mike wasn't home yet. Nick quietly helped me carry groceries and the huge bag of dog foot. I almost hate when he's quiet. After unpacking the groceries, I sat down in the recliner and stared at Nick until he looked at me funny.

"What?" he said.

Mouth shut, I thought. It's no fair if Mike isn't home yet. It isn't fair if I use his boy's pleading eyes against the poor man. And when I sat quietly, a stern voice in my head told me our lives were well settled. We had a five year old dog, a six year old frog, and an eleven year old cat. He was a good cat. I shouldn't upset the balance. I just shouldn't.

I picked up my iPhone, started a new game of solitaire and let Nick go back to his Netflix show.

Mike and I have been worried about Nick. He dropped out of football. He dropped Boy Scouts. He even dropped karate just a month before his sensei said he would be ready for the adult-level black belt test. How could he quit right before he achieved this level? He kept saying he was dropping one thing so he could focus on another. And when the other thing came up, he'd make excuses and say he was going to focus on something else. It's been hard to do, but we've let him decide.

Three months later, Nick's still not doing much. My friends reassure me that he'll be okay. A friend who taught high school for twenty-six years said it was a common age for a lull and shifting interests. I remember hearing the Scout leaders say that we should encourage the boys to get their requirements by the age of sixteen because the boys so often loose interest at that age. I don't think I really believed them. Besides, I thought, I really wanted Nick to use initiative. I think initiative is a critical lesson. But he quit everything!

Learn what you like to do and do it.

If you don't do it, isn't it a clue that you don't want it so much after all?

So, you'd think it would be easy to leave Nick alone in his search. I keep telling my friends that I just want him to be interested in something, anything. Well, anything besides the television and video games. I don't really care what it is. I have trouble watching him do nothing.

I went back to staring at Nick. I was finally going to learn to keep my mouth shut for as long as it took for Mike to get home. An hour? An hour and a half? How hard is that?

"What?" Nick said again.

I tried to start another game of solitaire. It didn't work. I looked up at him and he was still looking at me, waiting.

"When I picked up the dog food, they brought me into the back to see some kittens they rescued."

"Kittens? Really? Can we get a kitten, Mom? Can we?"

"I don't know," I said, smiling at his enthusiasm. "We'll have to talk to your dad." Mike does so much to make his boy happy. He really does. I know I'm bad. I know I should have kept my mouth shut and talked alone with Mike first.

But I didn't.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment